Fire Precaution Tips for the Holiday Season
The Christmas period is a time of joviality, celebration; a time for giving and a time for receiving, but most importantly – fire safety.
While most people are full of seasonal joy and merriment, there are others who will experience tragedy resulting from a fire related accident this Christmas
Amidst the joys and stresses during the Christmas season, fire safety is often overlooked. People rush around manically, trying their best to ensure that all the last minute shopping is complete; arrangements for family gatherings are made; houses are decorated and glowing better than the family’s across the road…
In the flurry of all these things, fire safety is often neglected and often the result is tragic. The negligence of fire precautions over the Christmas period ruins lives.
Typically, more deaths as a result from accidental fires occur throughout December and January. The festive period has more accidental fires than any other time of year.
You can prevent a tragedy happening in your home by following a few really simple fire safety precautions this Christmas period;
A dazzling Christmas tree is the centre piece of many family homes at Christmas. Christmas trees are also the fuel for many fires over the Christmas period.
• Real Christmas trees pose more of a risk of fire than an artificial one; authentic Christmas trees are prone to drying out; which pose a high fire safety risk.
• When choosing an authentic Christmas tree, ensure you choose one that is fresh and green. The moisture attained in fresh Christmas trees means that the risk of it igniting is slimmer
• Ensure that Christmas trees are never ever placed near an open source of flame or heat.
Christmas lights adorn many households over Christmas, breathing into household vibrant colours and really setting the Christmas mood; Christmas lights also pose serious fire safety risks.
• All Christmas lights should be inspected before use to ensure that the wire is in good condition- any lights that demonstrate any signs of wear-and-tear should be destroyed
• All bulb sockets should be inspected to ensure that they are not cracked or broken
• Only lights that have been approved by an approved testing laboratory should be used.
• Though it is tempting to leave Christmas lights on all the time, to avoid the risk of overloading the power outlet.
• If possible, purchase LED lights; as they operate at cooler temperatures.
Candles pose the highest risk of all Christmas decorations. Due to the open flame, they are extremely high-risk.
• It is advisable to use ‘electric-candles’ as opposed to open-flamed candles
• Never hang lighted candles from a Christmas tree
• If you do use decorative candles; keep them away from anything easily susceptible to a naked flame- cards, hanging decorations etc
• Ensure that any decorative candles are placed in candle holders designed and fitted for the candle itself
The social element of the Christmas period means that a lot of the time is spent in the kitchen. Due to the stress of preparing meals, coupled with the endless list of other tasks that need to be competed; cooking is often an area where fire safety precautions are often neglected.
• Never leave cooking unattended.
• Always ensure that children or inebriated attendees are kept away from cooking
• Never cook under the influence of alcohol
• Ensure all cooking appliances are unplugged or switched off when finished with
Possibly the most important measure to take in terms of fire safety precautions this Christmas is ensuring that all your fire alarm systems and equipment are fully functional and up to date.
• Test the batteries in your smoke alarm weekly, it takes seconds and could save lives.
• Ensure all fire blankets are present
• Ensure that all fire extinguishers are fully operational
• If in the event of a fire, ensure that the escape route is easily accessible to all
Older Relatives and Neighbours
The greatest gift you can give to someone at Christmas is the gift of care. It only takes minutes to visit elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure that they are well and that their home is fire safe.
Give your family and friends the gift of fire safety this Christmas; it costs nothing but goes a long way; it could even save lives.
For more information on Fire Safety Precautions contact Island Fire Protection.
Photo credit: bugeaters via photopin cc